After giving away a lead in the final two minutes of the game for the third time this season, the Denver Broncos find themselves with a 2-6 record in the wake of their 15-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
As you would expect after another disappointing loss, the list of players trending down trumps those heading in a positive direction. Here is the Broncos roster stock report following Week 8.
Kareem Jackson, S (New Rank: #6, up 2 spots)
After yet another stellar performance, I'm inching Jackson a couple more spots up the list to No. 6 overall. While the other big free agency signings of 2019 have not worked out according to plan, Jackson has been living up to his three-year contract, plus some.
With the team in the midst of a complete rebuild, and possibly shipping out other key defensive players ahead of the trade deadline, it's nice knowing the Broncos have a key veteran leader in Jackson to hold the secondary together.
Tim Patrick, WR (New Rank: #16, up 10 spots)
Prior to the Colts game, GM John Elway mentioned to the media that the team plans to bring Patrick off of IR once he is eligible. This alone is huge news for Patrick, resulting in a 10-spot jump up this list.
This new ranking puts him right in front of DaeSean Hamilton, who has still yet to make much of an impact this season in the receiving game. How Patrick plays once he returns to game action is going to be a key deciding factor to how aggressively the Broncos pursue WR options in the upcoming offseason, so consider him to be under a magnifying glass going forward.
Ja'Wuan James, RT (New Rank: #14, down 4 spots)
After being out essentially the entire season to this point (all but 10 snaps), James returned to game action this week against the Colts. It didn't take long, however, for him to re-injure his same knee and leave the game. 22 snaps, to be exact.
When it rains, it pours.
At the time of writing this, we know he reaggravated his previous left knee injury but we don't know his timetable. Given that this is now the second injury to the same knee on a 2-6 team, though, I would not at all be shocked to see him find his way onto IR.
The team will likely want to play it safe with their big-ticket free-agent signing, who is under contract for another three years beyond this season.
Bryce Callahan, CB (New Rank: #19, down 6 spots)
Speaking of injured free agent signings, how about another one? Callahan's chances of landing on IR increase every week that goes by where he doesn't suit up, and I would not at all be surprised if we see it happen here soon.
I still really like the long-term outlook for Callahan. Fangio knows what he's getting with him in this system. Similar to James, the best move may just be to accept that 2019 is a lost cause and make sure he's fresh for 2020.
Chris Harris, Jr., CB (New Rank: #28, down 17 spots)
Let me first off say the only reason I dropped Harris this many spots is because there is a very real chance he gets moved at the trade deadline. At this point, Harris has a maximum of eight games left playing for the Broncos. Sitting at 2-6, this team can't continue to think they are still playing for this season. It pains me beyond belief to think that Harris is done as a Bronco, but we have to face reality.
And that harsh reality is that Chris is no longer part of this team's future plans. Yes, he is still a top-10 CB in the NFL. But what good does that do a 2-6 team?
If you can get a day two pick for him right now, you have to do it. That draft pick won't lessen the blow of losing one of the best corners to ever play for the franchise, but it will help retool a roster that is void of depth & talent in several key areas.
Garett Bolles, LT (New Rank #36, down 6 spots)
At this point, the writing has to be on the wall for Bolles. He just can't seem to figure it out. And what's worse — he doesn't think he's doing anything wrong. With James going down with injury again, it seems as if Bolles is still holding onto his starting left tackle role, although at this point it has to be down to just a few threads.
The lack of tackle depth behind him on the depth chart is the primary reason he's ranked No. 36 and not closer to No. 50. It will be very interesting to see what the team does with Bolles the rest of the season, but at this point, I would start scouting first-round tackles in the 2020 draft.
Joe Flacco, QB (New Rank #38, down 7 spots)
Did Flacco really just publicly call out the offensive play calling of Rich Scangarello? As if Flacco's play so far this season hasn't set well with Elway, this surely didn't. Remember what happened when Emmanuel Sanders called out the coaching just a week ago?
He got traded. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But Elway did say there were some "issues" when referring to Sanders.
Let's be honest, especially in the wake of his now public neck injury, Flacco ain't it. He isn't it this year, he isn't it next year, or any year. It's time to stop forcing this and let it go. Drew Lock needs to play this season when he's able to.
Adam Gotsis, DE (New Rank #46, down 6 spots)
At this point, the writing may be on the wall for Gotsis. There was a lot of promise for him coming into the season, but after being named a gameday inactive for the fourth-straight week, it's starting to look like his time in Denver is about up.
He's set to be an unrestricted free agent following the season, and it's looking like he won't take priority over other UFAs on the defensive line — Derek Wolfe and Shelby Harris.
There's your Broncos stock report heading into Week 9. Here's to hoping we see more risers in the coming weeks!